House Builders Federation launches its own Home Building Skills Pledge in light of rejection of CITB levy, reflecting growing concerns at skills training

The housebuilders' federation (HBF) is launching its own 'Home Building Skills Pledge' committing companies to working together and with subcontractors to recruit and train more people to the agreed industry standards. All of HBF's larger members have now signed up - accounting for well over half the homes built in England. The Skills Pledge is the latest initiative to come out of the Home Building Skills Partnership set up 18 months ago to address industry's skills shortages. 

The rejection of the CITB levy comes with increasing frustration at the introduction of the government’s apprenticeship levy on top of CITB charges meaning that many companies are being taxed twice for skills provision.

Smaller members suffer even more as they do not have the resources to employ staff to specifically claw back only a fraction of the money paid through their own levy payments from CITB for training. In addition, CITB’s proposal to focus more narrowly on 'core construction' skills, means that while housebuilders will pay a levy in respect of their whole workforce, they risk being able to obtain support for a smaller proportion of their workers than they do now.

The launch of the HBF's Home Building Skills Pledge demonstrates the industry's commitment to investing in its training needs in order to be able to build the high quality homes the country needs and this, in turn, means being able to recruit and train more people.

89% of HBF members voted against CITB continuing as the lead body for construction training. At Devise Construction we work closely with HBF members and continue to be a leading light regionally to advocate training and apprenticeships in the industry. Our main concern remains the recruitment and supply of skilled tradespeople and back office staff to maintain our workload and delivery in line with our national partners. We will be monitoring developments with the HBF Skills scheme with great interest. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss this scheme or how we can best support your property development plans in the region more fully.

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